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Risks and Vulnerabilities

There are certain places, types of activities and adult behaviours that may increase the vulnerability of your child to getting lost. These risk factors include:

  • Crowded public places (e.g. amusement parks, fairs, festivals, etc.)

  • Large unfamiliar outdoor environments where children may explore unsupervised

  • Places with many entrances, exits or hiding places

  • Being with a large group of children with not enough adults for appropriate supervision

  • Places where direction, location and landmarks are not easily identified (for example, hiking in the forest)

  • Caretakers who leave your child alone – even for a minute

  • Miscommunication or assumptions between adults as to who is providing direct supervision

There are also some behaviours that children may exhibit that may increase their likelihood of becoming separated from their caretakers. For example:

  • A child who is easily distracted and spontaneous.

  • A child who likes to be alone or who wanders.

  • A child who likes to take risks or seeks adventure.

  • Children who enjoy playing hiding games. Children need clarification on when it’s appropriate to play hiding games and when it is not.

There is always going to be some risk of your child becoming separated from you. However, efforts can be made to help prevent these situations from happening and to ensure the quick and safe location of your child.

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